Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Some Information On Managing Colds

or what I have learned so far on the matter. From personal experience;

  • Sweating it out works well, I took some 'Night Nurse' (quite possibley the gayest named product I've taken / to have been invented) then put loads of covers on my bed. Agreed you do wake up the next morning and feel horrible being covered in sweat but I feel a hell of a lot better today. By sweating your body is getting rid of the toxins, just make sure you drink enough water to compensate.
  • There's apparently always lots to be said about Vitamin C and Zinc helping reduce the time you have a cold, this is the best explanation I found on the matter
Recent clinical research has shown that administration of zinc lozenges can cut the time of a suffereing from a cold in half. Clinical research regarding echinacea, vitamin C or zinc supplements have not shown significant significance. The reaeson Zinc works as a lozenge is that it must be present in its raw form (as an ion) at the site of infection (throat/nasal passage). Zinc appears to interfere with rhinovirus fusion with cells, therefore zinc lessens the effectiveness of the rhinovirus to infect cells and replicate, making it easier for your immune system to clear the cold infection. Note that citric acid tends to remove these free zinc ions, therefore eating citrus fruit or other foods high in citirc acid can cause zinc lozenges to become ineffective.

What Helps a Cold

* Vitamin C is imparitive to proper immune function. Unfortunately, vit. C shares the same receptor site as glucose. (All sugars are broken down into glucose.) The more glucose you put in your system, the less chance there is for Vit. C to bind to the receptor sites needed for immune function. People think that taking a massive load of vit. C is helpful when they're sick. This only works because it helps to increase the ratio of Vit. C to glucose. If they didn't consume so much sugar, they wouldn't need to take extra in the first place. The American diet is definitely full of it's fair share of sugars.

* Maybe. In some individuals, natural remedies and preventive measures seem to help. However, nothing is well proven.

* This is what the latest scientific research shows. Echinacea does not make a significant difference. Vitamin C only helped in a trial done on marines training in arctic climates and it only reduced their cold symptoms by about half a day. Zinc however does help. To get the best effect, it must be used as soon as the first common cold symptoms are felt (achy muscles, sniffly nose etc). The best formulation for the zinc is the gel form that you inject into the nasal passages.

* The first question I always ask myself when reading any 'scientific research' is, "Who did the research and how was the research conducted?" I have personally used Echinacea or Echinacea with Goldenseal for cold symptoms, and in my experience it did help. I have not used Zinc. In the study using Marines, I believe the results could be affected by what stage the cold was in when first taking the Vitamin C, how much sugar the study group was consuming (see first post), as well as the amount of Vitamin C given.

And aside from that, you know the rest. If you don't just ask your parents / self (as i'm not sure what exactly my demographic is here haha)